ALBANY, N.Y.—New Yorkers are split over whether
Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Fifty percent of voters surveyed last week said the Democratic governor should not immediately step down, compared with 35% who said Mr. Cuomo should resign, according to a Siena College Research Institute poll released Monday.
Thirty-five percent of poll respondents said they believed Mr. Cuomo had committed sexual harassment, compared with 24% who said he had not and 41% who said they were unsure. The poll found 57% of voters surveyed said they were satisfied with how the governor has handled the allegations.
The Siena poll of 804 voters was conducted from March 8 to 12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. On March 11, Albany lawmakers launched an impeachment investigation of the governor’s conduct.
Three women who worked for Mr. Cuomo as well as one woman currently on the governor’s Executive Chamber staff have accused him of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior. Attorney General Letitia James is overseeing an investigation into the allegations.
Mr. Cuomo has said he never inappropriately touched anybody. He has previously apologized to anyone who said his workplace behavior made them uncomfortable.
Poll spokesman Steven Greenberg said there is a partisan split and geographic split in the survey’s results, and said a majority of New York City voters said the governor should not step down.
“Nearly two-thirds of Republicans say Cuomo should resign, however, 61 percent of Democrats and 46 percent of independents, a plurality, say he should not,” Mr. Greenberg said.
The poll shows less support for a resignation among Black voters and respondents who are over 55 years old. According to the survey, 69% of Black respondents said Mr. Cuomo should not resign compared with 45% of white respondents. Fifty-eight percent of respondents older than 55 said Mr. Cuomo should not step down.
Democrats who control the state Assembly said they would launch an impeachment investigation, and a majority of the members in that 150-seat house have either said Mr. Cuomo should resign or be impeached.
Charlotte Bennett, 25 years old, said Mr. Cuomo, 63, made overtures to her for sex. Lindsey Boylan, 36, said Mr. Cuomo kissed her on her lips and suggested “let’s play strip poker” during a ride on the state airplane. Ana Liss, 35, said Mr. Cuomo asked if she had a boyfriend and once kissed her hand when she worked near his office at the Capitol.
A fourth woman said Mr. Cuomo touched her inappropriately during an encounter at the Executive Mansion last year.
Mr. Cuomo has denied Ms. Boylan’s account and said he never inappropriately touched anybody.
Mr. Cuomo has remained defiant amid growing calls for his resignation from within his own party: U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand joined 16 Democratic members of the state’s House of Representatives delegation on Friday in saying the governor should step down.
The White House has said people should see what Ms. James’s investigation finds.
Write to Jimmy Vielkind at Jimmy.Vielkind@wsj.com
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Source: WSJ – US News